Sluggish Practice Leaves Sour Taste

FAYETTEVILLE -- After ending Wednesday's morning practice with a reward for his team, Arkansas coach Houston Nutt was more in the mood for handing out punishment after Thursday's workout.

One day after cutting out the second planned practice, Nutt was clearly dissatisfied with the way his team responded. Instead of bouncing back with a spirited workout, the Razorbacks' effort led to Nutt eventually cutting Thursday's drills short and finishing the practice off with several sprints and up-down gassers.

"Not a good day today," Nutt said. "A little bit sluggish and we didn't play as fast as we'd like. We're going to turn this thing around real quick (Friday) morning and get this thing going about 10 (a.m.).

"So not much good to report today because I know we're better. I know it's hot, I know we're tired and I know you're looking forward. But this game is tough, it's everyday and it takes a real man to play this game."

Nutt's displeasure didn't center around one specific group. While the offense struggled with fumbled snaps in the WildHog formation, the defense also looked slow in giving up several deep pass completions.

"It was both," Nutt said. "I don't like giving up deep balls like that, we haven't done that in three or four years. We were letting balls get behind us all day long, sluggish to the football, lining up offsides. Just little things like that, I would say both of them (offense and defense)."

Nutt said after receiving a gift of sorts Wednesday by getting out of a second possible practice, too many players used that as a excuse to slack off Thursday.

"That's the message I tried to send," Nutt said. "Don't mistake kindness for weakness, don't do that. That's what a lot of the younger players did.

"I'm trying to help you with your legs, I'm trying to help you with your soreness, but don't take advantage. And we paid a severe price today because we lost about 15 plays at the end because I had to go gas them."

Wade Returns

Senior defensive end Chris Wade returned to practice Thursday after missing the first part of the week while recovering from a concussion. Wade, who didn't participate in last Saturday's scrimmage, was able to compete in most team drills Thursday.

"I feel a little bit better," Wade said. "I'm not all the way back, but I feel better and I'll be ready by the Troy game."

Still Watching

Although Wade was able to return to practice, several other Razorbacks were still sidelined Thursday. Tight end Ben Cleveland (neck stinger), fullback Peyton Hillis (hamstring), tackle Nate Garner (concussion) and kicker Jeremy Davis (foot) were all still nursing injuries.

Cleveland was able to run a few routes and catch passes from offensive coordinator David Lee and Nutt said he's looking better. Hillis, Garner and Davis, meanwhile, were held out of workouts entirely.

Another Cover For D-Mac

As if being the coverboy for Sports Illustrated's college football preview edition wasn't enough, Darren McFadden fans received more good news Thursday when it was learned he'll be on the cover of another high profile magazine.

In this week's ESPN The Magazine, McFadden will be on the cover of one of the publications three regional college preview editions.

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